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The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video

Upcoming Events

Tue, October 13, 2015 from 08:30am - 10:00am

Webinar: Who owns Big Data?


Malavika JayaramFellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; Visiting Scholar with the Surveillance and Every Day Life Group FARS Research Group, the Centre for International Security Studies and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, The University of Sydney

While technologies advance at a rapid pace, the legal and regulatory framework often lags behind, or poses compliance issues across multiple jurisdictions. This session will discuss the major factors impacting data, including access and collection, the privacy and security of personally identifiable information, and transparency about the use and dissemination of data

8:30 AM in Cambridge, 5:30 PM in Pakistan, 6 PM in India, 6 PM in Sri Lanka, 6:30 PM in Bangladesh, 6:15PM in Nepal

How to participate:

WATCH: One the day of the webinar, watch live on SAI’s website
INTERACT: Tweet your questions and join the conversation on Facebook

Twitter@HarvardSAI, #SAIWebinar

Join the Facebook event.

Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 08:30am

Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 10:00am

Thu, October 15, 2015 from 12:30pm - 01:30pm  /  SPH Building 1 Room 1208, HSPH

M-HEALTH-A student centered approach to Long Term Community Surveillance : Opportunities and Challenges

Global Health Seminar

Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor, Independent University, Bangladesh

Cosponsored with the Department of Global Health and Population Brown Bag Seminar Series

Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 12:30pm

Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 01:30pm

SPH Building 1 Room 1208, HSPH

SPH Building 1 Room 1208, Harvard School of Public Health

Fri, October 16, 2015 - Sun, October 18, 2015  /  Northwest Building

Love, War and Other Longings: Harvard-Brown Pakistani Film Festival

The recent revival of cinema in Pakistan has generated excitement and captured the imagination. A new generation of filmmakers ranging from the conventional to the experimental are exploring the possibilities of re-imagining family, friendship, love, the nation, and retelling ways of injustice and cruelty. Love, War and Other Longings is an invitation to come and participate in these new narrations, to explore their possibilities and examine their implications. What kind of future is this and what representations of the past does it require? What is being celebrated and who is being left out? By bringing film-makers, academics, activists and member of the public together we seek to generate a discussion that expands the potential for film-making in Pakistan, to foster this culture-industry in order to diversify and expand our imaginations, our empathy and our politics.

Festival website

Join the Facebook event

Cosponsored by the Harvard Asia Center, Brown University Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard Arts and Humanities Division, and the Harvard Pakistan Student Group.

Fri, Oct 16, 2015

Sun, Oct 18, 2015

Northwest Building

Northwest Building, 52 Oxford St. Cambridge MA 02138

Fri, October 16, 2015 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  Bell Hall

Understanding Bihar’s Election

Student Event

Jeffrey Witsoe, Associate Professor, Union College

Milan Vaishnav, Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Rohit Chandra, PhD Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School

Sharan Mamidipudi, PhD Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School

The upcoming election in Bihar (which will run from late October to early November 2015), is one of the first main political challenges of the incumbent BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is one of the quintessential battles between state and central political parties, and more important is a second round of political face-offs between two notable development-focused leaders: Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi. The outcome of this election will have major implications for both of the candidates’ political parties: Nitish Kumar’s coalition Janata Parivar is currently battling for electoral relevance after their rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP, on the other hand, needs to prove that it can make political inroads into states, expanding on its broad-based support in the last national election.

The panel will elicit opinions from both speakers on a variety of issues: the current reconfiguration of regional political parties, whether this election is an election of survival for regional parties, the relative importance of identity politics vs. growth performance, how political campaigns are organizing around individual images, and some predictions of what they expect from the elections in terms of outcomes.

Cosponsored with the Harvard Kennedy School India Caucus


Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 04:00pm

Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 05:30pm


The potential of mobile technology

On Sept. 21, students from SAI’s summer program on mobile technology presented their final projects on campus, which focused on using cell phones to improve education and public health in India.

    Fellow profile: Javed Younas

    While at Harvard, Dr. Younas will focus his research on two areas: 1) The connection between education and political violence, and 2) the perspectives of the recipient country in situations where donor countries provide grants and loans.

      Shahab Ahmed

      SAI is deeply saddened to share the news that Shahab Ahmed, Professor of Islamic Studies at Harvard, passed away.

        Harvard For Nepal

        Harvard for Nepal is a university-wide initiative that aims to unite Harvard in response to the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015.